Protecting Against Rare Event Failures in Archival Systems

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Executive Summary

Digital archives are growing rapidly, necessitating stronger reliability measures than RAID to avoid data loss from device failure. Mirroring, a popular solution, is too expensive over time. The authors present a compromise solution that uses multi-level redundancy coding to reduce the probability of data loss from multiple simultaneous device failures. This approach handles small-scale failures of one or two devices efficiently while still allowing the system to survive rare-event, larger-scale failures of four or more devices.

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